President’s Day/Mid-Winter Break in Chelan

In the greater Puget Sound area, a fair number of the private and public schools have the President’s Day week off. No one knows for sure why we take a whole week off (considering we just had two weeks off around Christmas and New Year’s Day).   I use to hate having another week off so soon after Christmas, but I have grown to love it over the years.  The hustle and bustle of Christmas is over, which makes this week a good break for vacation trips.  Airfare prices arent too bad and it seems only our local schools do the “Mid-Winter” Break.

The past few years, we have gone to Hawaii (Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island), California.  This year, my daughter is doing club volleyball and my son is doing a college program during his senior year so a family trip wasn’t going to happen. My son still has classes this week, while my daughter doesn’t.  So no out of town, flyaway trips for us.

This year, we did manage to get away to Lake Chelan.  We traded overcast, rainy skies for snow and gray skies.  The drive over was decent; roads and highways were wet and snow free.


As you can see from the photos, the lake appeared, disappeared, and then reappeared.

Then on a drive up to look at a piece of property, the clouds rolled in and went from blue skies to thick clouds (or fog) conditions.

Uh, the road is somewhere out there.

During the winter, the towns of Chelan and Manson slow down. Some of the businesses are mostly the summer type, catering to the tourist families from the west side of the Cascade mountains and stay open during summer months only.  In the winter, the local wineries and their tasting rooms switch to the Friday-Saturday-Sunday limited hours schedule due to the slowdown in suburban mom traffic.  As an example, a few weeks back when my wife and I came to Chelan, we were the only ones at the Benson Vibeyard/Winery’s tasting room.  A nice quiet afternoon to enjoy the view and a bottle of red wine.

Overall, Chelan and Manson are both great getaway locations.  Lots of wineries, a bowling alley, a few pizza and burger joints await the hardy visitor.  Snowshoe or cross country ski in the morning, do a few wine tastings in the afternoon, head out to dinner, and cap it all off with a night of bowling.  What could be more fun?

Someone is having a bad day—U-Haul crashes into Historic Seattle Landmark

Sometimes you just want to move your belongings from one place to another.  These poor folks decided to take their U-Haul moving truck through the beautiful Seattle Arboretum.  Why not?  It’s a short cut, it’s a nice drive, and what could go wrong?  Click on the link to KOMO news (one of our local broadcast news channels).

I’m hoping they opted for the “extra insurance coverage”.  I know your regular auto insurance usually covers small accidents but most of us have deductibles ranging from $100 to $1000.  The one time I opted for the additional coverage when I rented a moving van (14 years ago), it was worth it.  It was a small additional charge that covered EVERYTHING.  I managed to scrap a long line in the wood deck of the Public Storage moving van and they wanted to charge me for it.  It was a moving van and it was normal wear and tear.  Then the guy saw I had opted for the additional coverage and said I didn’t have to worry about it.

If you think about it, unless you are a commercial truck driver and use to a large vehicle, it makes sense to get the extra coverage and talk with your insurance coverage before you rent the truck.  Sure, it is cool you are moving from your parents’ basement into an overpriced apartment near Green Lake, but you need to cover yourself.  Think how this poor guy’s weekend is now ruined.

Click on the link below to check out more photos.

http://komonews.com/news/local/u-haul-truck-crashes-into-historic-seattle-landmark

UHaul from KOMO
Photo from KOMO news

Vacation Post: Chelan, Washington

It has taken me a few days to get out of work mode and into vacation mode.  We are staying about 3.5 hours (driving time) from our house which results in hotter weather with clear blue skies.  As you have probably gathered from past blog posts, the western Washington area is usually cloudy, wet, and cool (55-65 degrees F).  However, once you drive over Snoqulamie Pass and enter the eastern side of the state, you get hot, dry desert weather.  We now have high 80s to low 90s, clear blue skies.  Did I mention blue skies?  Yeah, we can see the sun here.

Now, summer is the best time to be in Seattle because the cloudy skies are really now blue skies.  The weather is good.  The new channel is teasing us with reports of sunshine and temperatures of 70-80.

The Lake Chelan area is beautiful.  It use to be just apple orchard country, mixed in with some cherries, and then a sprinkle of vacation condo resorts (lots of timeshares here).  Over the past 15 years, Chelan has added about 23 wineries and more tourist activities such as ziplines, jet skis and boat rentals, etc.  There is a great and affordable family waterslide park called “Slidewaters”.  Great local pizza joints and hamburger places.  Heck, and there is sunshine every darn day!

300 days of sunshine…you can’t complain about that especially when it comes with a 55 miles long lake with clear blue water.

Long Beach, Washington – Father’s Day 2016

On Sunday, my son, his friend, and I made a quick trip to Long Beach, Washington to create some drone video footage and take some drone photos.  The last time I was in Long Beach was with the family for a short lunch stop so I was pleased to have the opportunity to visit again and stay a bit longer.

The weather was perfect for enjoying Long Beach.  Clear blue skies and a bright sun for us however, it was very windy.  Long Beach is know for its excellent kite flying conditions.  Plenty of wind on Sunday and Monday if you like kite flying, seagulls, and assorted windy day activities.

We stayed in Jazzy’s Crab Shack Link to Jazzy’s Crab Shack and it was great for the three of us.  Two bedrooms and a queen hide away bed in the living room area, two bathrooms, dining room area, plus a well stocked kitchen with a breakfast nook.  The vacation cottage was very clean and looked like it is well maintained by the owners.

Monday’s weather was a bit more cloudy but the wind was about the same.  After driving around the area a bit, you realize that the beach is pretty far away.  It is wide and (of course) it is long (hence the name “Long Beach”).  In Washington State, you can drive on the beach (in certain areas).

The visit was short but still fun.  Hopefully, when you get the chance to visit Long Beach, the weather will be warm and sunny for your visit.

 

 

 

 

Whoa! Dropping some Acid in the Garden

Don’t worry; this isn’t a journey into the mind of a drug user or a bad acid trip.   

 It’s about killing those pesky weeds in your garden, flower beds, and yard by using our household pal Vinegar.  Tired of spending your hard earned dollars on expensive, commercial chemical weed killers?  Try using vinegar to kill those unwanted weeds.

Why vinegar?  Vinegar is a natural weed killer you can use in your yard without worrying about killing off your pets or kids.  It is inexpensive, non-toxic, fast acting, and doesn’t cause long term damage to the soil.  It works best on warm, dry days. I know finding those days here in the Seattle area might be tough, but when they do come, whip out that spray bottle of vinegar and kill those weeds!
I have my own special receipe that I use to make a custom weed killer.

-Quart of vinegar

-1/4 cup of salt

-1/4 tablespoon of table salt

I usually mix this up in a quart spray bottle I purchased from the local grocery store. Shake it a few times and now you are ready to kill the weeds.

Keep in mind, that this natural weed killer is non-selective.  It will also kill your grass, flowers, and other plants you love. Be careful when you are spraying.

Some weeds, I will cut down and then spray the remaining stump of the weed with my natural weed killer.  This is very effective for dandilions. 

It is easy, cheap, and non toxic. Good luck and enjoy!

Whoa! Dropping some Acid in the Garden

Don’t worry; this isn’t a journey into the mind of a drug user or a bad acid trip.   

 It’s about killing those pesky weeds in your garden, flower beds, and yard by using our household pal Vinegar.  Tired of spending your hard earned dollars on expensive, commercial chemical weed killers?  Try using vinegar to kill those unwanted weeds.

Why vinegar?  Vinegar is a natural weed killer you can use in your yard without worrying about killing off your pets or kids.  It is inexpensive, non-toxic, fast acting, and doesn’t cause long term damage to the soil.  It works best on warm, dry days. I know finding those days here in the Seattle area might be tough, but when they do come, whip out that spray bottle of vinegar and kill those weeds!
I have my own special receipe that I use to make a custom weed killer.

-Quart of vinegar

-1/4 cup of salt

-1/4 tablespoon of table salt

I usually mix this up in a quart spray bottle I purchased from the local grocery store. Shake it a few times and now you are ready to kill the weeds.

Keep in mind, that this natural weed killer will also kill your grass, flowers, and other plants you love. Be careful when you are spraying.

It is easy, cheap, and non toxic. Good luck and enjoy!

I put Cocaine on my Roof….

I live in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle area) and it is damp and rainy here about 97% of the time.  Perhaps, that is not entirely true but we have 226 cloudy days (4th most in the United States) and another 81 partly cloudy days.  Now, I’m not a math genius but that’s a lot in anyone’s book.

So we have a moss problem on our roofs.  I mentioned to my friend that the moss build up on my roof looked awful and I need to go buy some moss killer at the local hardware store.  He suggested to me, use baking soda.  It’s natural and you just put it on the top ridgeline of the roof when the roof is dry.  The rain comes and gently washes it down your roof and kills the moss.  The moss dies, and you can sweep off the dead moss or use your leaf blower to blow it into your neighbor’s yard.

image1 (2)
Who wants to cook their minds?

At Costco, I purchased a huge bag (13.5 pound bag) of Arm and Hammer baking soda for about $7.  I have a fairly large roof so I dumped about ¾ of the bag on it.  I went along the top of the roof ridge with a line on each side of the tip so the baking soda would be washed down both sides of the roof.  My son mentioned it looked like lines of cocaine on my roof.  Thanks son!  My daughter commented it looked ghetto (sweet!  I love to be “that” house in the neighborhood).  I’m always striving to be that house that stands out amongst its neighbors!

The end result:  Moss is dead and I’ve swept most of it off.  The white lines are disappearing and can be easily washed off or swept away if they don’t disappear on their own.

image2
Die moss….die.